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tv   [untitled]    August 25, 2012 10:00am-10:30am PDT

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-- usurous fee. we agreed to it because it seemed like the city needed the money, and we needed the program for an exit strategy. our a cardsñi are up to $82 a year. they were $18 and i started. but the city needs the money. it seems reasonable. we are willing to pay. we are willing to pay the 15%. xdnow, you want another $50,000 out of my pocket when it comes time to sell my medallion. at the same time, you want to eliminate other drivers who have been in the industry for 20 years or more.
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the original idea was 1 for 1 -- the city would sell one and offer one to the waiting list. it seemed reasonable. the city needed the money. the city received the money. now, $50,000 more and the elimination of the waiting list -- at what point do we get a break? you have really got to think about this. this is serious business. we are not talking about a couple of people. we are talking about thousands in thisñi industry. i would like to say that you owe it to us. director nolan: next speaker please. >> one correction to the commissioner here -- in your first report their, you talked about the driving requirements
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being established around 2005 -- in your first report there. the full time driver requirement was established in 1978 by proposition k, and it was the idea of that proposition that only full time drivers would hold the medallion, and they would be obtained at low cost, and that driver would be the guy operating the vehicle. he would have a direct interest in the vehicle, have control of that vehicle. i am a really big fan of proposition k. some years ago, i interviewed the author of the proposition, and one of the things i asked was, "are you satisfied with the way the proposition has turned out?" hew3 said, "absolutely not. the city has done an extremely
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poor job of implementing it." one of the things was they were issuing medallions to people who were not taxi drivers. this has improved. it has gotten better. the other thing i want to clarify is when you pass this, the list is dead. it is dead. maybe you can do something in the future later -- you can do anything you want in the future later, but at this point, if you pass this, the list is dead. nobody on that list will get a medallion. so far, i have seen every speaker that has come up here has told you not to pass this. maybe you will get a cup -- a couple of company owners saying they like this. and for the commissioner to say that this is not political, that this is just his best judgment -- i do not buy it. there is nothing more political
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than who gets the money. director nolan: next speaker please. >> good afternoon again. i am urging you to pass this item. allow me first to congratulate you and your staff and director hiyashi on the spectacularly successful pilot program. on the overhead are pictures of a new york city taxi medallion and a set of san francisco taxi medallions. new york manages its medallions as a brand. the tlc hired a marketing firm to create this new design for their medallion. they are extremely careful in everything they do regarding that very valuable brand. in fact, a taxi medallion is one of the most sought after assets in new york city. it has a high value and
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increases in value over time. san francisco's medallions represent the brand as well. it is very much in the interests of the people of san francisco that the sfmta manage it carefully. however, its value is somewhat uncertain at the moment. i urge you to date not to devalue your brand -- i urge you today. it is in the interests of the people of san francisco that the value of this brand go always up and never down. please pass this item today. i believe that in doing so, you will ensure that there continues to be a robust interest in this spectacularly valuable asset. thank you. director nolan: we are going to
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take just a brief break. ok? >> good afternoon. the purpose of a pilot program is to see if an experimental idea will work. i think the medallion sales pilot worked very well. the obvious thing to do is to stay the course. i do not think that the legislation in front of you really did that, but with the amendments director heinickefá s put in, it gets more to that realm. i still think that the 20% resale is out of line. in new york city, it is 5%. people purchasing these are still under a heavy burden, and i hope that will get reduced further. to me, using the drivers fund for down payment assistance would be a good idea. the ideal performance standard for companies is very critical. what is happening now is the companies thatjf cut corners can
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offer way more money to medallion holders to all line with their companies -- a ligj -- align with their companies. i hope you will move on that soon. the medallion waiting list is a monster. i have a tremendous amount of and the nearest the top and zero for the people nearest the bottom. people are in limbo all their lives wondering where their name is going to come up. i know you are having this legislation, changing "shall" to "may." i think you should make a verbal commitment today that you will give some and come back and say how many. the guillotine was invented -- it is a great oxymoron, humane
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execution, but that is what it is for. i do not think you should pull the rug out right now. director nolan: director nolan: ladies and gentlemen, we are back in session. please call the next several speakers. >> [reading names] >> good afternoon again. i want to thank you for tackling -- director nolan: we are back in session. thank you. >> go ahead. >> ok, good afternoon.
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my medallion number is 778. i was one of the first hundred to receive a medallion and was thankful to do it. so i have some feelings for the guys that are on this list because that is how i got mine. i want to thank you all for taking on this big issue here. my concern is that it is a good start, but the problem that i see with this is at these prices, now that i'm getting to the age where i want to get out of the industry is -- how long will this money last me after i paid taxes and everything else? from my point of view, it will not last too long. after we get rid of all the guys that are sick or disabled, you are going to have a bunch of old guys driving these cabs are around that will not want to
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surrender them because there will not be enough money to make it through the last 10 years of their lives, and this is not an old man's industry. now that youfá have the waiting list -- up to 17 years -- you've got another old man coming to replace the old man. you have a really big problem on your hands. you are going to replace us old guys now with other old guys. i think it is a good start, but i think you have to consider the amount at $150,000 will not last anybody any amount of time, especially in the bay area. that is all i had to say. thank you very much. >> [reading names] >> good afternoon.
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this is really tough. i first want to say the person who should be running the town hall meetings is malcolm heinicke, and i am not lying. i sunshined some documents which back up some of the things i had to say. you as directors should realize that there is more to stories then just hearing from intermediaries. if you had any direct contact with malcolm heinicke, there may be some ethical issues involved here because malcolm heinicke, according to these e-mails, has had a lot of input to go with implementing policy. there is a difference between creating policy and approving policy compared to how you implement it. the director claims that it was his plan. the documents disagree with your statements today, ed reiskin.
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they do. there's a few paragraphs. the first as early as august 3. it says "i disagree. i make sure we approve this." also, who wrote this? i believe chris hiyashi had a lot to do with this, but she is supposed to be on leave. according to what was discussed at town hall meetings, the plan was written by somebody other than the staff in the office. also, regarding the waitlist, all current medallions would remain non-transferable, and the drivers cannot drive anymore. that was as early as may 17.
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this plan is already in the books as of may when they had a special meeting. i lost my time because you did not give it, but i want to let you know -- there is a lot of dispute. please do not make this decision today without getting all the facts. please. >> good afternoon. i adjusted my comments a little bit based on the amendments that were made, but the thoughts emily having -- i am really having is during the years the tax advisory committee met, most of the tender was -- tenor was the final program. that was pretty much everyone
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discussing this program. i guess what i am reminded of -- we would not be having this discussion if we were still into copy -- prop. k. we were stuck under a program that had no flexibility. i appreciate the fact that we are under prop. a. while the program presented may not be perfect, i hope as things are analyzed down the road, there may still be opportunities to make adjustments as necessary, which was something that could not be done prior. i hope there is continued tweaking that might go on as we move down the road. again, that is an opportunity that you have that we might not have had under another type of legislation. i support what your doing and
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hope we continue to make it better. >> good afternoon, directors. i sent you an e-mail this morning, and we already knew that mr. malcolm heinicke was going to raise the price back to $200,000. why is he dictating this industry? why is he meeting with people? if this is a true story and if he is running this, all of it is just for nothing. it is sad. they have to lose their money to come here and speak. they have to pay $300,000 when
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there is no business in the city now. it is a different year now. when the drivers are circling around the city hall and did not come to this meeting, what did you do? you just scratched them and did not pay even one word -- you just crushed them. same thing is going to happen. you are adding 200 more calves next meeting, crushing the drivers, but when the companies came and met with malcolm heinicke and gave him the indication they would go for a lawsuit, the price came back. why not cut $300,000 back to $250,000? why can you not run muni from some other source? why our pocket? why everything for the muni
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drivers? why the taxi driver money to feed you? you are incapable, or they are making you incapable. >> i guess i do not like very much the mood over the years, but i think if director heinicke makes an amendment, it will be followed. in this case, i sort of like the amendment. big improvement. i do not know -- this whole idea of income strings from the taxi business is ultimately corrupted. there is no satisfaction. you find a problem and you go and pick it -- the average salary in this business is $25,000. somebody gets $250,000 after
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working 20 years is not getting very much money. you are raising the ceiling up to $300,000. there is no particular reason for it. has the cost of living index gone up $50,000? and then you want to not give any of that money to the drivers who have been driving for 20 or 30 years. you are just playing with arithmetic. you are not dealing with any kind of reality about what is going on in this business or the reality of what effect it will have on the drivers. what i really want to talk about is the driver's list that i think is a very good idea. he seemed to be committed to giving cabs the list. i think you should throw this back into a couple of town hall meetings would be the best thing.
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chris hiyashi is the only person with knowledge to run it. you might be able to come up with something. with your private plan, you had a consensus. you cannot. -- you do not now. you just brought this out of the blue on us. it needs to be worked through it once had the cab drivers. that is what you have to do. thank you very much. >> [reading names] ] -- >> good afternoon, commissioners. i believe the community is an important part of local government. there was mention of another potential committee to oversee the driver fund. i would just hope that maybe in
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the regular report -- maybe there may be a regular report back to the board of directors. we are short on time. in regards to the current process, i am not sure how you guys are going to work out the program with the waiting list. i came back to the industry after you closed the waiting list. i assume at some point that it got cut off and we will pick it back up somewhere else. i do not see how the city would after a successful pilot program take it away. the program is here. it is just a matter of tinkering with some of the nuances. my suggestion would be to continue to work out some of the minor details before we come to a final solution because there are still some changes that have happened in the last three weeks that probably could be worked out.
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director nolan: next speaker please. >> [reading names] >> good afternoon. i have been a cabdriver in san francisco for just about 20 years. i raised a family around this business. i am very close on the list, and i was wondering if this board could put in the amendments for people on the list. is that a possibility? director nolan: we will#wz discs it. jf>> for example, on the italian sales by city, the wording has been changed from "shall continue" to "may." is there any way that couldñr be put back? director nolan: what number are
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you on the list? we will discuss it. >> i am 11. of my friends who dt have got them now. the idea -- i think cabdrivers are assets. a lot of times, we are like ambassadors for the city. we are the first person they talk to. we bring them down to fisherman's wharf. we bring them wherever. i love my job. i started 22 years ago and have not looked back since. i hope you take this into account, that i planned my life around getting this thing. director nolan: thank you, sir. we will talk about these for sure. >> good afternoon. i am president of national veterans cap company. first of all, i would like to say that i think the amendments
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that were offered are an improvement to the proposal director reiskin brought forth to us. i am particularly concerned with the process and the way this came to be brought before you can be brought before us as an industry. when we set up the pilot program, there were a number of town hall meetings, and we had several key problems we had to address. one was house somehow to qualified people on the waiting list. many had no credit or bad credit. to purchase a medallion. how to get a quality lender to engage on this process with them. one of the key elements was to set a price point where the seller could find it attractive enough to withdraw from the industry and at the same time, the buyer could see this as an attractive proposition for himself. we said that price point of
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$250,000 very carefully. it was one that the entire industry basically contributed to in terms of input of what their thoughts were. many people thought it was too low. many people thought it was too high. but people expressed their point of view. the point of view that this particular proposition has been brought before us in many ways i do not think reflects the input of the industry. i would say finally that the most important potential source of revenue we have not tapped is improved service on the part of if we could partner together to do that, the demand for taxicabs is going to increase enormously. thanks. >> [reading names] >> good afternoon, directors. i think what you are getting here is something that i think you should take really to heart.
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this industry feels, and i think rightly so, that decisions are made behind closed doors without any real input from this industry. the process and the way this came up here -- we had to do some very hard lobbying in the last week because it was put in front of you and written up behind closed doors and presented to us now in such a short time. that is disrespectful to the industry and the taxi advisory council that wants to help the mta move in a smart direction. we all inherited a system for 35 years that essentially gave the medallion to individuals to operate on their own. when we transitioned to something else, we have to respect the fact that no one had a choice in the matter in the way the system was previously. when the industry here is that we will only give you half the value of the medallion and charge a 30% fee on top of buying the medallion for $200,000, it shows you do not
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really respect us, our families, and the system we inherited. i am the first person to say we need to transition to a buy and sell system. i have been yelling and screaming that for years, but let's respect the industry smartly without throwing people under the bus. you're going to make $200 million. let's respect the existing medallion holders and the value that they have, and let's not profiteer and basically charge someone 20%. it is unheard of. i have never heard of someone buying something for $300,000 and being told they will have to pay a 20% fee when they sell it again. no other city sells a medallion and gives a 20% fee. because it is perceived as if you want to profiteer on us. that is the problem. this is why this industry is upset -- no inclusion, no
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respect, and profiteering. thank you. [applause] >> [reading names] >> good afternoon, directors. mr. reiskin, i have a question. i do not know if you are allowed to respond. you are the director of the mta board of directors. have you ever gone to your computer and typed in a global search, the transfer fee on a medallion in seattle or chicago or boston? have you ever done that? director reiskin: this is your time to talk to us. >> it is nothing close to 20%. the national standard is between 4% and 7%. this proposal plans to keep the profiteering status quo of 20% and act like you are bringing it
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down. it is ludicrous. it is crazy. if you want people to sell the medallions, they have to have some sort of incentive to do so. $150,000, $200,000 -- that is not enough money to retire on, frankly. it just will not happen. fáwhat is going to happen if you all vote on this is these old guys will hold on to this until the bitter end. the mta is taking too much of a cut. there is no way to retire on that. what do you do when you are 70 years old and have $150,000? what if you live to be 100? finally, to the medallion holders in the room or those people on the waiting list -- put your medallion where your mouth is? you have jim gillespie from yellow cabs here, and i support what you're doing here -- tim
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gillespie from yellow cab -- jim gillespie from yellow cab. maybe it is time medallion holders put their medallion with their mouth is. director nolan: thank you. >> [reading names] our last speaker. director nolan: good. >> there just is so much to talk about. this amendment is a 30-page document. it is pretty much impossible for us to have gone through this 30- page document and come up with any solution. i think you should reject this plan right now and have some town hall meetings where malcolm heinicke and director reiskin show up at the town hall meetings and listened to what the drivers are

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